Posted tagged ‘New York City’

Patriot Day 2010

September 2, 2010

This year’s 9/11 bulletin board is more subdued than in past years.  You can see that previous board at the top of my blog.  The 9th grade class of 2014 were kindergarteners when the twin towers fell. 

Embrace the Serendipity of Learning

April 15, 2010

Wasn’t it nice of CSLA to chose the word Serendipity for their 2009 convention this past fall in SO CA? 
I thought so too. 
It was the perfect excuse to use this photo that I found that I just love.

Serendipity certainly was the reason that I have the job that I do…
Now if we all can just live through the torment that is STAR testing.

September Bulletin Boards: 9/11

August 30, 2009


Every September for the past 9 years I have put up a bulletin board tribute to 9/11.  It has changed over the years in different ways, and although it is a quick board for me to put up…it is not an easy one.  There is a solemn feeling when I create this display, as well there should be.

The bulletin board I am using this year has a small bookcase underneath on which we’ll display 9/11 books such as the book by LIFE– ONE NATION America Remembers September 11, 2001 and Let’s Roll by Lisa Beamer, wife of 9/11 hero Todd Beamer.  If you remember, Todd Beamer was aboard United Flight 93 and he, with fellow passengers, prevented the aircraft from reaching yet another target.  We have quite a few books that were donated to the library over the years.  I also feature some books on terrorism and chemical warfare.  Not exactly topics that encourage light reading.  We have a small collection of Fiction books that I include as well; Scorpia by Anthony Horowitz and A Day at the Beach by Helen Schulman.

This particular bulletin board is made up completely of photos.  Some years, I have added a title, but it really seems unnecessary.  The students “get it” and will stand quietly looking at the photos as if we were in a museum.  Our incoming class of 2013 was between 5-6 years of age when the events of 9/11 happened.

I was a HotMommy not a HotLibraryTech when 9/11 happened.  My youngest was 4.  While he watched Winnie the Pooh on our family room’s TV, I was in the den, downloading photos from the Internet as the events unraveled. My students are dumbfounded at the photos that I have, and will often ask if I was in New York City that day.  Depending on the student,  I usually respond by saying, “We were all there that day.”

In doing more research for this post, I came upon this brief video that was released in 2006.  It is difficult to watch, but it is a view of the second impact that I don’t believe many of us ever saw.  It is not necessary for you to watch, I am merely including it here.

Although the school year has not started, I decided that I would put up the 9/11 bulletin board today.  I began with a background of black construction paper, although some years I have actually used acid free card stock 12×12 size.  I have also used black fabric, I bought on clearance at my favorite fabric store.  Fabric is great, it does not fade like paper and the texture gives an added dimension to the display.


This particular bulletin board is the size of twelve 12×12 scrapbook pages.  It helps me to have that visual in mind when I begin to lay everything out.  With some bulletin boards that use photos, I use one photo as the focal point and spread out from there.
Fo the 9/11 bulletin board, I lay the photos out chronologically.  Beginning in the upper left corner I start with a NYC fall morning…filled with smoke, fear and destruction.

I incorporate a technique I call “Going over the Edge” where I cover the ugly metal edge of the board with the photos, when I am finished, you see nothing of the board’s frame.  This can be seen in the photo above.
I also use the “flutter” technique on this board only.  This is where I loosely attach the photos (just use two staples) so with the slightest breeze, (perhaps when a student walks by) the photos flutter with movement.  I created this technique, because I still remember watching files, documents, contracts, reports, etc…fluttering in the September breeze as they floated down from the towers.  I would include a photo of this acutally happening, but I have none.  I just watched it happen as I walked between the den and the family room to check on my son.  Oh, to have been able to just sit with him all day and watch Winnie the Pooh, while the world as I knew it, was forever changed.


In this close-up photo you can see the overlapping and fluttering styles a little better.

Depending on the size of your board, you will be able to use roughly 30 photos.  Don’t be afraid to overlap them.  If you have laminated them or if they were printed on heavy photo paper from your printer, a small piece of tape on the back is not going to hurt them.  You can also utilize scrapbook adhesive.  This year, the board ends with memorials and funerals for the victims.  I have photos that range from a fall morning in September, to firefighters, to memorials to Ground Zero today.


The young fireman in this photo created a genuine concern across the world.  He never wanted the attention that he received after the events of that day.  If you want to read more about his story, you can go to the following link:

In checking www.snopes.comto be sure that the story quoted above is true, I found nothing listed on Fireman Kehoe.

I keep the bulletin board rated PG.  While it would be possible for me to include photos that are disturbing, I choose not to.  When I was capturing images on my computer as they happened, I did not censor any of them.  Many of us saw the photos/video of people frantically waving from broken windows; or falling to their deaths when they jumped. The high school setting does not seem an appropriate venue to show these photos.  I don’t feel that I am keeping the truth from students; they know 3,000 people died that day.  Some instantaneously, some when the buildings collapsed.


If you are concerned that senior administrative officials might question a 9/11 display, choose the simple photo that uses floodlights to represent the ghost images of the Twin Towers at night.  This can be set up on the circulation desk or counter that students can see as they check out their library books.
If nothing else, it gives you an opportunity for discussion between yourself and the student.  I have students ask me where I was on 9/11 and it has opened up many avenues between myself and the library patrons.


There are many sites that will let you print photos, if you do not already have an archive of photos of your own.  Before you begin printing, make sure that you have plenty of ink and good quality photo paper.  Clean your printer if necessary.


You can do a Google image search of 9/11
I am including a good link.

You can also just type “September 11, 2001” into Google images with Safe Search off.
I found these to be some of the best resources.
I hope this post will help you to create a memorable bulletin board that reminds students that –
We Will Never Forget 9/11/01.

Sincerely –